Let me set the scene: It’s 9 p.m. I’m watching “American Idol” on the DVR because I was at the Bluebird Cafe with some friends hearing some music that I believe is quite superior to what I’ll hear on AI tonight. That’s just my opinion of this season. You are free to disagree!
Apparently, it’s movie song night and Jamie Foxx is the mentor. Have we ever discussed how Jamie Foxx quickly gets on my nerves when he serves in this sort of capacity? No? Well, he does. I can’t really explain it. . .
Jamie advises all the contestants to go into “another gear,” which I do think is good advice.
Lee Dewyze “Kiss from a Rose”
Jamie gets right in Lee’s face and forces him to perform even though it feels weird. I think that’s actually a good thing, b/c Lee’s biggest problem is getting outside of himself and actually performing. He’s presenting shirts that say “artist” or “contestant” and Lee gets the artist shirt.
• Oh, boy, Lee’s vocals are a mess at the beginning of this song • in the verse part, he doesn’t quite get up to his notes • chorus is much better but not amazing • I like Lee. I like Lee a lot. But he is missing some really big notes tonight. • He doesn’t seem nervous or about to throw up, though, so that’s a plus.
Randy: For me, you did nothing with that song. It was pitchy in some spots. It just didn’t work for me.
Ellen: There could have been more done with the song.
Kara: You got lost a little; you had some out of tune issues. But you are still great.
Simon: There are so many brilliant movies, so many brilliant songs. That was verging on karaoke.
(I have to say that I do agree with Simon. And I like Lee. But that wasn’t as good as he could have done.)
Michael Lynche “Will You Be There”
Jamie wants to stop Big Mike from feeling like he shouldn’t be there. He also makes Big Mike dance and punch his hand. It’s a bad run-through and Jamie wants to give him the contestant shirt, but Big Mike won’t take it. Jamie says Big Mike has to let go. I don’t know. I’m not sure we’ve seen one moment with Big Mike that wasn’t putting on some kind of persona.
• Beginning is OK for me, but it felt like he was a little below his range and breathy with weird phrasing for a few lines • When he sang with his chest voice, it was better. • Nice big notes and some runs. • It’s good, but it still doesn’t amaze me. It’s kind of boring.
Randy: This is a cool song, but I didn’t love this for you either. (Me, too, Randy!)
Ellen: Your goal should be to win this thing, not get into the top 3. I feel like this a little bit predictable.
Kara: Tonight, I want goose bumps again, but I didn’t feel that from you. You played it safe.
Simon: At least you gave it 100 percent and I kind of felt that you meant it.
There’s a commercial during which I get inexplicably hungry for Chips Ahoy cookies and a glass of milk.
Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze singing “Falling Slowly”
*OH MY GOSH! I love this song SO much! Next week this time I will be sitting on the six row in the Ryman hearing the Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova sing it live. I will be just this side of heaven. I had to pause the DVR to type all of that. Please don’t mess up one of my favorite songs. Please.*
(I don’t like the trading back and forth of phrases, but that could be because that’s not the way Glen and Marketa sing it. And then there’s the screaming into the chorus and I punch my fist into the air. I love it. Crystal’s voice isn’t as pure as Marketa’s, but she adds something to this song and I think this duet is one of my favorite things EVER on American Idol. EVER, I tell you. Sigh)
Randy: What a difference a couple of moments made! I loved it!
Ellen: You’re like the new Captain and Tenile!
Kara: One of my favorite moments of the entire season.
Simon: I don’t know if I’d call that a good song. I’d call it a fantastic song.
Casey James “Mrs. Robinson” (Remind me to tell you some time about the time my mom got “The Graduate” for us to watch as a family. It’s a good story.)
Jamie notices that Casey isn’t focused when he’s singing and commands him to seduce us with the song. Jamie has hit on a bit problem with Casey, b/c Casey doesn’t connect. Jamie gives him the artist shirt.
• I hate Casey’s hair • Vocals are decent, but it’s not a mesmerizing performance • He changes the melodic line a little and I think that’s a good decision for his voice, which isn’t as pure and Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s. • It’s good, but still not amazing.
Randy: (after implying Casey sang the song for Kara) It was just kind of a cool, laid-back version of the song.
Ellen: I like that you came back and did something different with the song. I wish you had gone further.
Kara: For me this is you fighting to stay in the competition. This was a good choice.
Simon: Personally, I didn’t think the song or the performance had the substance required. (I agree, Simon. I agree.)
Crystal Bowersox “I’m Alright”
Jamie tells her to have confidence and to not be intimidated.
• What is she wearing? It’s . . .weird. . . and not good • I’m not sure about this song choice. • I feel like she’s doing some almost screaming at points rather than singing • Some of the vocals, though, are really nice • It’s a weird arrangment and I feel like she does everything she can do to pull it off. It’s not her best, but it’s OK.
Randy: You are definitely an artist. It wasn’t my favorite performance, but nice job.
Ellen: You took that song and made it better.
Kara: I completely agree with Ellen.
Simon: You, Crystal, are back in the game.
For a moment, I thought that Ryan said Casey and Big Mike were singing Ryan Adams, but then I figured out it was Bryan Adams. They’re doing a duet of “Have you ever really loved a woman?” from Don Juan DeMarco, which I only remember a little of, but thought it was funny.
*Casey does some nice guitar work. His vocals are OK and kind of gruff like Bryan Adam’s. The trade-off with Big Mike was weird and the moments when harmony would have been nice are ignored. They do harmony for a bit going into the chorus and then weird things happen. They sing kind of in unison and kind of not, sometimes harmony and their big note is not good.*
Randy: I love the guitar playing. You guys sounded really good.
Ellen: “Yes, I have loved a woman.”
Kara: The duets tonight were incredible. (I don’t think Casey and Big Mike was incredible.)
Simon: The duets are a million times better than the solo performances. (Do agree.)
Best of the night: Crystal, I guess. I mean, if I have to pick someone. (If I was ranking it would be 1. Crystal, 2. Mike, 3. Lee, 4. Casey. Lee is #3 b/c of the great duet performance. W/o it, I’d rank him lower than Casey and that hurts me to say! )
In trouble: Casey James
And please make Jamie Foxx stop staring fixedly into the camera. He scares me a little.